Re: Using Word for book publishing

Subject: Re: Using Word for book publishing
From: Donna McManus <donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Rick_Bishop <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 14:37:51 -0400

All, I find this topic interesting and relative to me. I have NO experience
with TEX or LaTEX.

That said, I've used Word or FrameMaker plenty (well FrameMaker is well in
the past, and I probably forgot everything about it).

Again, too, I'm just fishing for insight. So opine away again. This time I
don't have any preferences because of my experiences.

Do any of you control leading in your text with Word? Meaning, do you mess
with or change default settings for line spacing (Paragraph, Format, Line
Space specified at X pt or X lines)? I typically use defaults. But I've come
across the desire of someone who wants to use Word as a desktop publishing
system. Is Word REALLY capable of typesetting? I use styles, templates, etc.
to control my layout, but never thought about this until reading this
discussion. Also, what about kerning? Does anyone attempt to kern in Word?
Why would you?

Also because I've only had ONE desktop publishing class in my life 20 years
ago (Aldus PageMaker...remember THAT?), I'm not sure I would know how to
determine how to figure out what that white space should be with leading or
how to determine how to kern, let alone with Word.

Word has just been a word processor for me. Why or why not use Word as a
desktop publisher? My world does create long documents with TOCs, indexes,
etc. but it's never been an issue before. So I'm sort of interested here...
never had to do a real book format. When is a real book format applicable
today? (User manuals I've done or do only require a PDF or online help.)



On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 4:02 AM, Rick_Bishop <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>wrote:

> Erika: Word can produce 'real' books. I've produced several commercially
> printed soft cover books with it (hundreds of pages and numerous
> illustrations). Word can produce a textbook layout and format as well as
> InDesign, Frame, or TeX in every respect but one. That is that Word does
> not
> do proportional spacing very well. This means that when you full justify
> text on the printed page, you may occasionally see a "river of white"
> running down the page. You can get Word to layout text "Like WordPerfect 6"
> in the options, which will give slightly better results on this issue, but
> still not quite as good as a true layout program. Word is a lot faster
> however.
>
> If you demand perfection, go with one of these and import the Word
> documents
> as source materials. The styles can be mapped on import, shortening the
> production time considerably - especially if there are multiple authors. I
> will say that no one noticed this spacing issue on my books produced in
> Word
> except me (finals to the authors and the printer were in pdf), and the
> printed copy was quite good.
>
> Rick
>
> > > On 09/06/2011 3:03 PM, Erika Yanovich wrote:
> > >
> Hi all,
> > >>
> Our chief scientist (the author of several textbooks) is writing a new
> series (something between an idiot's guide and a scientific textbook) that
> we should edit and format. The neighboring marcom dept will design the
> cover
> and take care of production. Our tool is MS Word and that's what we
> intended
> to use for this purpose, but the author claims that Word can't produce
> 'real' books (by this he means the look and feel of modern textbooks).
> > >>
> Is this true? Are there any [hidden] advanced features of Word for this
> purpose, not used by tech writers? What tools would you use?
> The author prefers TeX for which he has (and can develop) styles guides.
> Needless to say, he is a power user of TeX and he is used to produce
> camera-ready copies in postscript.
> > >>
> I have mixed feelings about him doing the formatting (apparently he doesn't
> mind, but isn't his time too expensive for this?), based on our definitions
> (which is what he apparently expects). Also, how would we get it for
> review?
> What formats are available to export from TeX?
> > >>
> Any thoughts appreciated.
> > >>
> Erika
>
>
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RE: Using Word for book publishing: From: Rick_Bishop

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